BALTIMORE - No doubt Jake Arrieta has talent. He dazzled the Minnesota Twins on Opening Day, pitched brilliantly at Yankee Stadium a few weeks later, and three weeks ago, threw well in Washington.
In between these outstanding performances were many poor ones.
Friday's was the worst of all.
With the Baltimore Orioles desperately needing innings out of their starter, Arrieta was pounded for a career-high nine runs in the Orioles' 9-6 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies before 40,459 at Oriole Park.
"I can get big league hitters out. There's no question about that, and I can do it at a high level," Arrieta said. "I think everyone here knows what I can do. Going out there tonight in front of 40,000 people and having a clubhouse full of guys out there who count on you to go out there and give it up like that is pretty frustrating.
"That's really all I've got."
Arrieta didn't have much, and on Saturday, the Orioles will recall Tommy Hunter from Norfolk, and they'll have to make room for him. Arrieta may be the one to go.
"I really haven't thought about it," Arrieta said. "Just kind of going over the game in my head, trying to analyze things, probably overthinking things a little bit too much."
There were thousands of Phillies fans in the second-largest crowd of the season, and they reveled in Arrieta's struggles.
Five days after not making it out of the fifth inning against Tampa Bay and being blasted on the Orioles telecast by Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, Arrieta only made it through four because manager Buck Showalter wanted to save the bullpen.
Arrieta (2-8) gave up 11 hits to go along with his nine runs. He struck out five and hit a batter.
"I'm just kind of lost right now," he said.
On Thursday, Brian Matusz couldn't make it through three innings in Boston, and after Arrieta allowed six runs in the second inning, it appeared he was done, but Showalter allowed him to pitch two more innings.
"We know Jake is capable of a lot better," Showalter said. "It's not good. Jake knows that. It's not good enough."
He struck out the side in the third, but allowed a two-run home run to Shane Victorino in the fourth.
Victorino had five RBIs, which equaled his career-high.
The Orioles (32-26) didn't have a bad night offensively. They had five runs off Joe Blanton (5-6), but he was able to pitch with a comfortable lead throughout.
Victorino drove in the first run for Philadelphia (29-31) in the first and two more in the second on a two-run double. The other four runs were driven in by Mike Fontenot, who was a first-round draft choice by the Orioles in 2001, and had a two-run homer while Jim Thome drove in two runs with a double.
Chris Davis drove in two runs on a single in the second and a home run in the fourth. It was his 10th of the season. Robert Andino had a two-run double in the three-run second.
One batter after Blanton was removed in the seventh, J.J. Hardy slammed his 11th home run into the left field stands to make it 9-6.
"We've got to take the lead and let our starting pitchers just relax," Adam Jones said. 'Sometimes they might be throwing like they might be doing more than they need to do. As a hitter, we need to put up runs, score first."
NOTES: Dylan Bundy allowed two runs and five hits in five innings for Frederick in Lynchburg. Bundy struck out five and walked three. The three walks equals the number he walked in his previous 40 innings. He's expected to pitch again on June 14 when the Keys host Lynchburg. ... Adrian Marin, the Orioles' third-round draft pick, signed with the team on Thursday. ... Jones is stuck in his longest slump of the season, 0-for-14.